Well, what do you know? I’d pretty much reconciled myself to the fact that this season of ‘True Blood’ was all going to be one big disappointment… and then the show goes and gives us a pretty darn good episode this week. That was unexpected.
The major story arc in ‘Cold Grey Light of Dawn’ finds Marnie fully possessed by the spirit of Antonia, the long-dead witch with a serious grievance against all vampires. This is good timing, because weak-willed Marnie was really starting to annoy me. She’s a lot more interesting as a pissed-off evil wraith hell-bent on vengeance.
Antonia busts out of prison by mind-controlling one of Bill’s vampire sheriffs (Luis, the one who told the story about surviving her original attack). She has him kill Bill’s little girlfriend Katerina and attempt to kill Bill too. He shoots Bill in the stomach with a silver-tipped bullet, but Bill manages to get the drop on him. Luis then stakes himself, mumbling something about “resurrection.”
Bill rounds up the rest of his sheriffs and orders them to have all civilian vampires evacuate Louisiana immediately. Those who will remain, including Bill, Jessica and the sheriffs, will have to lock themselves indoors during the daytime and voluntarily silver themselves to avoid being manipulating into walking into the sunlight, as happened during Antonia’s original lifetime.
Antonio woos Tara over to her side to join her crusade against vampires. Tara then recruits Holly and a bunch of other Wiccans. As Bill predicted, they cast a spell that drives the vampires totally bonkers. Unfortunately, Bill went soft and didn’t silver Jessica as thoroughly as he should have. The episode ends on a cliffhanger as she slips free of her chains and walks out towards the sun while Jason runs to the house to stop her.
This sequence is surprisingly suspenseful. The episode as a whole is very focused and much more compelling than the last few weeks have been. Yet it also finds time to fit in a lot of good character moments and some well-measured humor. This is a good one. I’d like to see more episodes like this the rest of the season.
Other Notable Developments:
- Lafayette learns that he’s a medium. He also sees the ghostly black woman who’s been hovering around Arlene’s baby. She only speaks French to the child and is surprised that Lafayette can see her. At this time, she seems pretty benevolent. I expect that the season will end with Lafayette being taken over by this spirit to face off against Marnie and hers. However, if this ghost is so nice, then what’s with the evil messages and burning down Arlene’s house?
- While searching for Sookie in the woods, Alcide and Debbie stumble upon her having sex with Eric. Debbie is jealous of the connection between Sookie and Alcide, but he assures Debbie that he’s a one-woman wolf and only has eyes for her. Awww…
- Sookie and Eric hump like bunnies through most of the episode. Eric worries that Sookie won’t like him anymore if he regains his memories and becomes the person he used to be. He says that he doesn’t ever want to remember who he was.
- The grumpy vampire doctor from earlier seasons returns to give Pam a full-body skin peel. As in, she literally flays all the rotting flesh off Pam’s body. She can’t cure the curse, but she can restore Pam’s outer looks via a series of painful shots that Pam will have to administer to herself six times a day… forever.
- After surviving the attack by Pam, Tara decides that she’s tired of running. She sends her annoying girlfriend off back to New Orleans. That’s good, because this storyline was really dull.
- Jessica admits to Bill that she doesn’t love Hoyt.
- Suffering V withdrawal, Andy totally bombs out during his date with Holly.
- After getting screeched at by his girlfriend Luna for stuff he never did, Sam figures out that Tommy must have shifted into his form. He once again kicks Tommy out of his house and tells him that he never wants to see him again. Isn’t this about the twelfth time we’ve been through this? Just kill the kid off already.
The best dialogue exchange of the night comes during the resolution to the little cliffhanger about Pam attacking Tara. Pam is forced to let Tara go when a group of gawking onlookers start taking pictures her. (Being photographed attacking a human is punishable by the true death.) When someone in the crowd calls her a zombie, Pam insists: “I am not a zombie!” To which a voice replies, “That’s exactly what a zombie would say.”